Pre-orders will open on May 1, shipments in June.
After the first teaser in March, and then an unexpected leak in April, Valve officially released details of its new virtual reality headset, the Valve Index; and this is a monster.
Valve Index is not a device for the initial entry threshold. The company is firmly focused on long-time fans of virtual reality – especially those who own HTC Vive. The device was designed from the ground up with high-definition VR. It is equipped with a custom-made full-screen LCD display, which has 50% more sub-pixels than in OLED, in order to reduce the effect of the “scryndor”.
Valve does not set the field of view (FOV), as is usually the case with most headsets. This is due to the fact that not only is the IPD manual adjustment built into the Index, but there is also an adjustable “attenuation” that moves the lenses back and forth for the most comfortable position. Thus, it changes the FOV depending on the user. Valve notes in his press release that “Typical user experience – FOV is 20 degrees more compared to Vive.”
Other notable features of the Index include an audio system that uses middle ear speakers, a magnetic face pad with antimicrobial tissue to increase the spatial presence; easily customizable headband. Built-in displays have a frame rate of 120 Hz; there are front cameras for end-to-end functionality and a camera on the front of the headset – under the shiny plastic cover, which Valve herself calls “Frunk”, there is a place for USB.
And this is just a headset. Along with it, new base stations 2.0 appeared, which have a wider field of view, a longer range and a more attractive body.
Last but not least, these are the controllers (formerly called Knuckles). In this intrigue was much less, since Valve openly spoke about its development, as many prototypes appeared on the network. Each controller is equipped with a joystick, digital buttons, a trackpad, a trigger, and 87 sensors per controller — including optical, a motion sensor, a capacitive sensor, and a force sensor — for full finger tracking. Plus an adjustable strap that allows players to open their hands to lay or throw objects.
So what about the cost? Well, a complete set, including the Valve Index itself, base stations 2.0 and controllers, will cost $ 999 / £ 919. But there are many other options if you don’t need the whole kit. The cost of the headset itself is $ 499/459 pounds sterling (works with base stations 1.0), or the controllers themselves cost $ 279/259 pounds per pair. Base stations 2.0 cost $ 149 / £ 139 each.
Full VR Kit
HMD & Controllers Kit
Index Controllers – Pair
Base Stations 2.0 – Single
Pre-orders for the Valve index should go into action on May 1, and shipments will begin in late June. For further updates, keep reading VRcue.